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Rheims(răNs, rēmz), city (1990 pop. 185,164), Marne dept., NE France, in Champagne. The center of the champagnechampagne
, sparkling white wine made from grapes grown in the old French province of Champagne. The best champagne is from that part of the Marne valley whose apex is Reims, the center of the industry.
..... Click the link for more information. industry, Reims is situated amid large vineyards. Before the champagne industry took on its present proportions in the 18th cent., the chief products of Reims were woolen textiles. They are still important, and there are many other industries. As Durocotorum, the city of Remi, it was one of the most important cities in Roman Gaul. The see of an archbishopric since the 8th cent., Reims continued to play an exceptional role in French history. Clovis I was baptized and crowned (496) king of all Franks in the cathedral by St. Remi, the bishop of Reims, and it became customary after Louis VII (1137) for the kings of France to be crowned there. In the present cathedral (13th–14th cent.), Joan of Arc stood next to Charles VII when, at her instance, he was crowned in 1429. The cathedral is a monument of French Gothic architecture. During World War I, heavy bombing, which nearly leveled the city, destroyed the interior, including most of the irreplaceable stained-glass windows. Restored, partly with funds from the Rockefeller Foundation, it was reopened in 1938. The town hall (17th cent.) and the old Church of St. Remi (11th–16th cent.) were also gravely damaged. In World War II, on May 7, 1945, German emissaries signed the unconditional surrender of Germany at Allied headquarters in Reims. Reims has a university founded by Pope Paul III in 1547. Jean Baptiste Colbert and St. John Baptist de la Salle were born in Reims.
(also Rheims), a city in northwestern France, in Champagne, in the department of Marne. Population, 153,000 (1968). Reims, an important transportation junction, is connected by canal with the Marne and Aisne rivers. The city is well known for its champagne and its woolen goods. It also has machine-building (mainly electrical appliances), garment, and confectionery industries. The city’s university was founded in 1962.
Initially a settlement of the Celtic Remi tribe, the town subsequently became the center of the Roman province of Belgica. It was known as Durocortorum and then Remi. In the late third century the town became an episcopal see. In the fifth century Reims was conquered by the Franks, whose king, Clovis, was converted to Christianity in the city in 496. From that time on, French kings were consecrated in Reims. (The last coronation in the city was that of Charles X in 1825.) In 1139 the city received the rights of a commune. During the Middle Ages, Reims was a major artisan center (production of woolen fabrics) and the site of large fairs.
During World War I, Reims was almost completely destroyed. The city was occupied by fascist German troops during World War II (from June 1940 to September 1944). On May 7, 1945, the surrender of the Wehrmacht on the Western Front (later recognized as preliminary) was signed in Reims.
Architectural landmarks in Reims include the Roman Arch of Mars (second century) and the Romanesque Abbey of St. Remi (11th, 12th, and 16th centuries; now a museum housing prehistoric, Greek, Roman, and medieval sculpture and applied arts). The famous Reims Cathedral (1211–1311; architects Jean d’Orbais, Jean Loup, Gaucher de Reims, Bernard de Sois-sons, and Robert de Coucy; with 14th- and 15th-century additions), in terms of both architectural design and sculptural ornamentation, greatly influenced the emergence of the mature Gothic style.
Also located in Reims are numerous residences from the 13th through 18th centuries. The collection of the Fine Arts Museum (formerly the Abbey of St. Denis, 13th to 18th centuries) consists mainly of French paintings from the 15th through 19th centuries and Dutch tapestries from the 15th and 16th centuries.
REFERENCESNedoshivin, G. A. Reimskii sobor. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Druart, H., P. Schneiter, and P. Voisin. Reims et sa région. Paris, 1959.
Reinhardt, H. La Cathédrale de Reims. Paris, 1963.